There is no drummer from New Orleans having more of an impact on the sound of the city than Johnny Vidacovich. New Orleans is Johnny’s soul. Rhythmically, he plays the sweetness and heart of the groove and lyrically, Johnny cautions, “Be careful who you idolize.” He professes, “I just don’t know.” He has suspicions, demanding, “Doctor Watson, what’s in your pocket?” And he pleads, “Please don’t be squeezing my heart.”
Along with his mastery of drums, Johnny captures the pulse of his surroundings and translates those emotions into one of his signature poems, which have become equally as expressive as his music, and more frequently, Johnny’s words and voice are recorded with other artists. It would be a disappointment if his own projects didn’t include a track with vocals. Johnny has a lot to say and a lot to play.
Johnny’s recording career has weaved through New Orleans royalty- Professor Longhair, Dr. John, Johnny Adams, Alvin “Red” Tyler, Tab Benoit-Voice of the Wetlands, George Porter Jr.,James Booker, and Al Belleto while contributing to albums by Nat Adderley, Mose Allison, Bobby McFerrin, Joe Sample, John Scofield, Irma Thomas, Jon Cleary, Charlie Rich, Charles Neville, Shane Theriot, Ray Anderson, Michael Pellera, Tony Dagradi, David Torkanowsky, Gianni Bedori, Scott Albert Johnson, Bill Morrissey, Michael Kaeshammer, Tangle Eye, Thais Clark, John Mooney, Mambo Brothers, James Singleton, Mike Dillion, Clarence Johnson lll, Rick Margitza, Lenny McDaniel, Chuck Bereron, Tim Lauglin, Bill Deraime, Harry Connick, Sr., Phillip Manuel, Theresa Anderson, The Pfister Sisters, Lillian Boutté, Roland Stone, Zachary Richard, Charlie Hunter, Jeff Coffin, Robert Walter, June Yamagishi, Andres Osborne, Papa Mali, Scott Ramminger, Willy DeVille, Angelle Trosclair, Michelle Wilson, Phil Parnell, Giorgio Gaslini, Hesse Koerner Petrov, Nolatet…..and of course his many years with the iconic Astral Project.
Out Da Box, Johnny Vidacovich’s new solo project flows from his first four- Mystery Street (Winner- Offbeat Music 1995 Best Contemporary Jazz Award), Banks Street (Winner- Offbeat Music 1996 Best Contemporary Jazz Award), Vidacovich and ‘bout Time. This fifth in his storied recording series is about his inventive flowing grooves from driving pulses to tender touches. For this collection of solo recordings, Johnny added staples of New Orleans jazz elite- Michael Pellera, Tony Dagradi, James Singleton, Shane Theriot, Matt Perrine, Eric Traub, Bill Huntington, Grayson Brockamp, Earl Turbinton Jr., Khari Allen Lee, Steve Masakowski, Ed Wise, Charlie Miller, as well as Jeffrey Meyer and Harold Ray Brown.
Johnny reminds us why he earned the respect and recognition from his peers with multiple Lifetime achievement awards and nearly perineal “Best Drummer” honors from OffBeat Magazine, Best Contemporary Jazz Album (Mystery Street & Banks Street).
Johnny is heard regularly at the Maple Leaf and Snug Harbor, either as a solo artist or sharing the stage with artists who always sound better with JV on the stand. Johnny also continues to teach students- not limited to drummers, from around the world who want to absorb the special ingredients of his sound.
Some of Johnny’s former students and peers seem to like him too:
"Sometimes when I hear him I think, “Oh God, I’ve stolen everything from Johnny V.” But hopefully that’s not the case. Aside from having always the deepest sense of groove, Johnny is always concerned with this sort of melodic motion coming from the drums. He moves the music and shapes it, and kind of gets inside of it.” - Brian Blade/Ted Panken/Word Press
"Johnny Vidacovich is one of a rare breed of musicians whose individual sound is so unique, it’s instantly identifiable. He’s among an even rarer breed who are able to convey their knowledge to students. Johnny’s drumming and music has brought joy and inspiration to countless music fans, and he has influenced hordes of drummers and students over several decades." - Stanton Moore (Modern Drummer)
“JV is a master drummer who has been at the forefront of New Orleans drumming since the 1970s. He is a sweetheart and there is virtually no drummer in New Orleans who hasn’t been influenced by his style.” - Martin Urbach
"Johnny Vidacovich is not only one of the greatest drummers in New Orleans - he's one of the greatest drummers in the world."
You'll find uploads from Deborah Vidacovich, the genius behind Johnny's perpetual creativity. She keeps fans informed with cinematography from live performances to online lessons, and creatively assembles the many brilliant musicians playing with Johnny V. - Offbeat Magazine
VISIT JOHNNY'S FAN PAGE, where you'll find uploads from Deborah Vidacovich, the genius behind Johnny's perpetual creativity. She keeps fans informed with cinematography from live performances to online lessons, and creatively assembles the many brilliant musicians playing with Johnny V.